12 Tennessee Spots Every Elvis Fan Needs To Visit, According To Online Reviews

The iconic Elvis Presley has made an extraordinarily large impact on culture at large. He revolutionized the music universe when he burst onto the scene in the 1950s, shaking up the world with his blend of country and blues that would pave the way for rock 'n' roll's eventual world domination. With classic hits like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," and "Can't Help Falling In Love" and a unique sense of style, Elvis has left an undeniable impact and remains one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

He also remains as relevant as ever today. His contentious relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was at the center of Baz Luhrmann's 2022 film "Elvis," and his relationship with his wife Priscilla Presley — who he met when she was just 14 and he was 24 — inspired Sofia Coppola's 2023 film "Priscilla." Born in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis came into his own on Beale Street in Memphis and recorded his very first song at Sun Studios. He quickly broke out onto the music scene, first scandalizing the world with his flagrant onstage sexuality and sound before sparking a music revolution.

His Memphis estate, Graceland, is still a popular destination for anyone looking to steep themselves in Elvis lore, but Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee both hold plenty of other destinations for Elvis fans. We trawled the web for the places in Tennessee with the best reviews and the strongest Elvis connections to help you search for The King in the state that launched his career. 

Graceland - Memphis

Any Elvis-themed visit to Tennessee unquestionably must include a visit to his sprawling and iconic estate, Graceland, which is located in Memphis. Elvis purchased Graceland in 1957 and lived here until he died in 1977. Many of the most important moments of his life played out at Graceland. It's where Elvis lived with Priscilla Presley for five years until their wedding in 1967, and where his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, used to stay with him before his death.

Today, Graceland is a historic American attraction that includes museums, restaurants, and so much more, all dedicated to Elvis. You can also see his mansion, stables, and the meditation garden where Elvis used to stroll to relax, and that's just the tip of the iceberg; some of the more unique attractions at Graceland include live shows, excursions to Elvis's birthplace in Mississippi, a chapel where you can get married, and more.

Across the web, Graceland consistently ranks as a top destination in Memphis and garners rave reviews. "We weren't particular Elvis fans before we went, but we are now," wrote a reviewer on Tripadvisor who visited the mansion in 2022. "The house is actually quite small, but you really feel close to him and his family when you walk through his front door, and with every step that you take."

Sun Studio - Memphis

When an 18-year-old Elvis walked into Sun Studio in 1953, no one knew who he was. That August, he recorded his first two records — "My Happiness" and "That's Where Your Heartaches Begin" — at the Memphis studio. He later came back and recorded another two songs: "I'll Never Stand in Your Way" and "It Wouldn't Be the Same Without You." None of the tracks received much recognition, but studio owner Sam Phillips launched Elvis's career into the stratosphere by taking notice of him, pairing him with a few local musicians, and eventually inviting him to record a demo called "Without You." 

The recording apparently wasn't much to Phillips's liking, though, and Elvis failed to truly impress Phillips until a fateful night when Presley broke out a cover of a blues number called "That's All Right" by Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup. His recording received some radio play, and from there, Presley's career began to take off. 

Today, you can visit that same Sun Studio where Elvis laid down his first tracks and take a guided tour of the space, which will cost you $15. You'll also learn more about some of the other greats who recorded there, from Johnny Cash to Roy Orbison. One reviewer on Yelp described this spot as "bursting with amazing, mind-blowing musical history," and many other reviewers praised the studio guides' knowledge of and passion for music and the history of the space.

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum - Memphis

Anyone looking for a deep dive into music history will be more than pleased with a visit to Memphis's Rock 'n' Soul Museum, which traces the birth of rock and soul music and the people who brought it to life. The museum is a great way to learn more about Elvis's rise as well as the music that informed and shaped his work, starting with field hollers and songs by rural sharecroppers in the 1930s and moving through jazz, blues, and eventually the rock music that would come to dominate the world. 

The museum began as a project by the Smithsonian Institution intended to explore the origins of American music, and its archival collection contains many interviews with key players who helped bring rock 'n' roll to life. The museum also features some special Elvis ephemera, including the original lyrics of his hit "Heartbreak Hotel" and the guitar Elvis used to sing to his future wife Priscilla when he met her during his military service in Germany. You'll find the museum located in downtown Memphis, and tickets for adults are $13.

Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum - Nashville

Located on the outskirts of Nashville, this sprawling farm was the beloved haunt of another music great: the late Johnny Cash. The iconic musician purchased the land in the early 1970s and spent over 30 years living on the property, which he once called "the center of my universe," according to the Storytellers Hideaway Farm and Museum website.

Today, it's a museum dedicated to country music greats. Obviously, it includes plenty of Cash memorabilia, including the One-Piece-At-A-Time Cadillac that was created for Cash's song of the same name. It also includes tributes to Elvis, such as pieces of the home of Elvis's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, where Elvis used to stay when he was recording in Nashville. 

Elvis and Cash's lives share some intriguing parallels. Both rose to fame in Tennessee in the 1950s, and both were signed to Sun Records, so it only makes sense to view their legacies side by side. The location is only open on Saturdays to the general public, and tickets for adults cost $25. However, you can call to reserve a tour on other days of the week. 

Historic RCA Studio B - Nashville

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, RCA Studio B has helped bring countless iconic songs into the world, from Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" and Skeeter Davis's "The End of the World" to Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely." Elvis also recorded here frequently, laying down over 240 songs between its walls, including "Stuck on You" and "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" Known for launching the "Nashville Sound" into the world, the studio was also the birthplace of the "Nashville Numbers System," a new way of detailing the chords and structures of a song.

Today, the studio's interior remains the same as it was when Elvis sat at the grand piano and belted out some of his most emotional works of art. Visits are conducted through Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame and cost about $50. Tours last around an hour and include plenty of fun anecdotes about all the icons who recorded at the studio over the years. Reviews praised the tour guide's enthusiasm and storytelling skills, as well as the fun of hearing classic songs played in the place they were recorded.

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum - Nashville

Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame Museum holds the world's largest collection of country-related artifacts, from unique instruments to handwritten letters. It also includes tributes to modern country stars, from Miranda Lambert to Taylor Swift. Additionally, the museum regularly holds events, from songwriter showcases and lessons to art classes, so be sure to check the calendar before stopping by. 

Elvis was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1988. Of course, the museum includes plenty of Elvis memorabilia, including Elvis's gold-encrusted Cadillac and his stunning golden grand piano. You can also stop by Elvis' portrait in the Hall of Fame Rotunda, where stars from Dolly Parton to Willie Nelson are also commemorated. Reviewers enjoyed the exhibitions, with one Tripadvisor reviewer calling the museum "probably the best thing to do in Nashville." Tickets cost around $28 for adults.

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum - Nashville

Elvis is also honored in the Musicians Hall of Fame and was posthumously inducted in 1986. The Nashville museum contains some of Elvis' jumpsuits as well as the actual interior of American Studios, where Elvis recorded some of his biggest hits, including "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto." For music lovers visiting Nashville, the museum is a worthwhile experience, whether you're a huge Elvis fan or not. 

Along with Elvis memorabilia, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum is home to instruments that stars like George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Tammy Wynette, and many more played on recordings, and unlike the Country Music Hall of Fame's museum, it covers many different genres of music. Admission to the museum also includes entrance to the GRAMMY Museum Gallery, an interactive museum where you can play and record your own music while learning about other music greats. Tickets are $28 for adults.

Overton Park Shell - Memphis

Located in Memphis, the Overton Park Shell was the venue where Elvis gave his first-ever paid performance on July 30, 1954. The 19-year-old Elvis, who had released his debut single "That's All Right" just 25 days before, opened for country singer Slim Whitman. Apparently, Elvis was so nervous that his legs started shaking, but the crowd loved it, and Elvis's signature leg-shaking moves were born. The show is often referred to as the first rock 'n' roll show in history, making the park an extremely significant location.

The open-air theater is located in the 342-acre Overton Park, offering visitors the perfect excuse to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air while also exploring a key moment in Elvis's — and the world's — musical history. For a closer look at the venue, you can take a backstage tour for $16, which many Tripadvisor reviewers praised for its focus on Memphis, music history, and all the stars who have performed at the Overton Park Shell over the years, including, of course, The King.

Ryman Auditorium - Nashville

The Ryman is one of the most famous country music venues in the world. Sometimes called the "Mother Church of Country Music," The Ryman was the original home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 to 1974. The venue was also the place where a 19-year-old Elvis gave one of his first performances on October 2, 1954, notably playing a rockabilly version of Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky." His performance wasn't all that well-received, though, and apparently generated only "tepid applause." 

After the gig, Opry manager Jim Denny reportedly told Elvis that he should go back to his day job as a truck driver. Obviously, he didn't, and two weeks later Elvis signed on for 52 appearances on the Opry's rival radio station, the Louisiana Hayride. Today, the Ryman is still very much an active venue. During a visit, you can also take a self-guided tour through the venue's collection of country music history artifacts, or you can schedule a guided backstage tour to view the areas where Johnny Cash and many other stars prepared to "wow" the audience.

The Arcade - Memphis

Arcade Restaurant in Memphis was founded in 1919 and has been owned by the same family ever since. It was also apparently one of Elvis' favorite spots to grab a bite when he was still in Memphis at the start of his career. Today, you can sit in the booth where Elvis sat during his visits, and you can also purchase the establishment's special fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, which are inspired by one of Elvis's favorite meals. Elvis originally discovered the sandwich in Denver, Colorado, but the fact that it's now for sale at one of his favorite haunts would probably make him happy today.

The restaurant remains a very 1950s-style diner and has been featured in movies including "Great Balls of Fire" and "Walk the Line." Its vintage design makes it an ideal way to imagine you're really back in the '50s, catching secretive glimpses of the hottest new young star eating in the booth beside you after a late-night recording session.

Elvis Presley Statue on Beale Street - Memphis

Elvis lived about a mile away from Beale Street when he was a teenager, drawing some of his early inspiration from the Black musicians he listened to here, so a visit to this historic street is vital for any true Elvis experience in Memphis. The street has a long history of boasting incredible live music, as countless legends like B. B. King used to perform here. 

Today, Beale Street remains one of the best places to see live music in Memphis, and it also boasts plenty of restaurants and bars, making it the perfect place to spend an Elvis-themed night out. Along the way, you can stop by the bronze statue of Elvis in the aptly named Elvis Presley Plaza, then weave your way through the neighboring establishments in search of a bit of the sound that inspired Elvis so long ago. 

Lansky Brothers - Memphis

Elvis' iconic style is second only to his music in terms of infamy and cultural impact. As it turns out, the superstar developed his legendary fashion sense within the walls of a clothing store called Lansky Brothers. Elvis first began frequenting the store at just 17, and store owner Bernard Lansky often recalled how a teenaged Elvis — then an employee at a local movie theater who often stopped by to window shop — would tell Lansky he'd buy him out once he got famous. In response, Lansky would tell Elvis to just "buy from him" once he became famous.

A short time later, Lansky provided Elvis' outfit for his first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and often styled him in later years. "I put Elvis in his first suit, and I put him in his last," Lansky told The New York Times. Today, Lansky's has moved from its original location to Memphis's Peabody Hotel, but it's still very much open for business and also sells a few Elvis-themed gifts to go along with the suits.